Original release date: March 21, 2013 | Last revised: March 22, 2013
US-CERT has received reports of apparently DHS-themed ransomware occurring in the wild. Users who are being targeted by the ransomware receive an email message claiming that use of their computer has been suspended and that the user must pay a fine to unblock it. The ransomware falsely claims to be from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Division.
Users who are infected with the malware should consult with a reputable security expert to assist in removing the malware, or perform a clean reinstallation of their OS after formatting their computer's hard drive.
US-CERT and DHS encourage users and administrators to use caution when encountering these types of email messages and take the following preventive measures to protect themselves from phishing scams and malware campaigns that attempt to frighten and deceive a recipient for the purpose of illegal gain.
Do not click on or submit any information to webpages.
Do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages.